It is that time of year again where country trainers and owners start to dream big with the $1.3 million The Kosciuszko only just around the corner.
The 1200m sprint, open to any NSW country sprinter, will be run and won at Royal Randwick on October 15, with the winning connections netting a cool $685,000 in prizemoney the process.
For those that might not know how The Kosciuszko works, readers can click here, but simply put, 14 sweepstakes winners will pick a horse each, with those 14 horses then competing for the $1.3 million in prize money.
On Saturday, a full field of budding country racing stars and Kosciuszko hopefuls will turn out in the 1200m Class Three Highway Handicap at Rosehill Gardens.
Leading the way is the Jamie Stewart-trained and Tyler Schiller-ridden Iconic Dame, which is the $3.90 favourite in the $100,000 event.
The three-year-old has certainly demonstrated her ability in five career starts, winning three times, which included a good last-start win over 1100m at Rosehill Gardens, when bolting in by 3.5 lengths.
The Moruya galloper is already in The Kosciuszko market, with punters able to get $51.
Another galloper considered a $51 chance for The Kosciuszko is the Cody Morgan-trained Ostracised, which will contest the same Highway Handicap.
The three-year-old, which has raced eight times, winning once and placing on a further five occasions, has Jean Van Overmeire in the saddle and punters can get as much as $18 in Saturday’s race.
The Mitch Beer-trained Well In Sight is also in The Kosciuszko markets at $101 and is currently $16 to win Saturday’s Highway Handicap at Rosehill.
The three-year-old won her first three races at Albury before finishing down the track at Flemington and Rosehill Gardens in recent starts.
The Shalaa filly does also get the services of leading hoop James McDonald and the Albury galloper looks more than progressive.
One horse not in The Kosciuszko market but well and truly worthy of consideration is the Melanie O’Gorman-trained So Country, which is a $6.50 chance in Saturday’s Highway Handicap.
The four-year-old was a very good winner in the 1200m Class Two Handicap at Rosehill Gardens earlier this month, and another win at headquarters would no doubt have potential sweepstake holders taking notice.
Another galloper deserving of being in The Kosciuszko market is the Luke Pepper-trained Rebel Dreamer, which is a $6 chance in Saturday’s Highway.
The Scone galloper, which has Jay Ford in the saddle, ran an eye-catching third to So Country in town last start, and a win on Saturday wouldn’t surprise some punters.